Whenever a Mets player goes down with an injury, Mets fans are internally programmed to assume the worst. It’s a reaction that’s been honed over the years. Did someone sneeze the wrong way? Get ready for that to somehow turn into season-ending surgery.
It wasn’t like that very often in 2022, though. Outside of Jacob deGrom not debuting until August and Starling Marte missing the final month, New York stayed reasonably healthy (regarding serious maladies) during a 101-win campaign. Naturally, that makes what’s happened over the past few days even more unnerving.
Edwin Diaz’s season is over before it can even start. And literally hours after we got that news, Brandon Nimmo limped off the field thanks to an awkward slide into second base. For those already saying “the season is over” after the Diaz news, you knew they’d immediately fire up the Panic City meter again.
This is one of the risks of signing Nimmo to an eight-year, $162 million deal. Yes, he was easily the best center fielder on the free-agent market. But then again, he’s only appeared in 140-plus games twice since debuting in 2016.
Once the outfielder and resident leadoff hitter heavily limped off the field, we naturally expected the worst. We can be thankful for the time being. His knee/ankle injury doesn’t sound too serious, according to general manager Billy Eppler:
Billy Eppler announces that Brandon Nimmo has low-grade sprains in both his ankle and knee and is considered week-to-week: pic.twitter.com/Nb8nXtgMmS
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 18, 2023
This is obviously great news, but Opening Day is about a week and a half away. If Nimmo is considered week-to-week with a low-grade knee and ankle sprain, will the Mets begin their quest for a World Series title without him?
That’s possible, but Nimmo thinks he’ll be able to suit up for New York on March 30th in Miami (via SNY):
“Low (grade) sprain, ankle and knee, which is honestly best-case scenario with what happened,” Nimmo said. “Pretty glad about that. Right now we’re just taking it day-by-day. I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday. Once we get all that inflammation out of there, I’ll feel a lot better with it. So, I’m not ruling anything out right now.
“In my heart of hearts, yeah, I do think [I’ll be ready for Opening Day]. Obviously, we have to see how it goes, but yeah, right now I definitely think that I’ll be ready for Opening Day.”
In the grand scheme of things, being ready for Opening Day doesn’t mean much. It means something from the pomp-and-circumstance aspect of things, but that’s about it. After watching Diaz go down, though, it’d be great to see Brandon Nimmo line up with the rest of the squad on Opening Day.
Let’s hope that happens. And then, you know, let’s also hope he does it again another 140-ish times before Game 162 is in the books.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.